Self-Care for Solo Entrepreneurs, Business Owners and CEO’s

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Do Leaders Practice Self-Care?

As a  solo entrepreneur, business owner,  or leader, do you often find yourself at the eye of the storm, fighting not only for the survival of  your business or organisation but for yourself on a very personal level.
We all know this tends to sap energy and make work- life balance appear to be a selfish distraction or a pipe dream.

Burn out is a silent killer, invisible to leaders until it becomes extreme. If leaders do recognise burn out it is often too late, and they can’t remedy it because their fundamental ability to take care of themselves is impaired and invisible.

 Self-Care Is a Business Decision!
Solo entrepreneurs, leaders and business owners characteristically deny the impact of stress. According to the Center for Creative Leadership ” Leaders aren’t even aware that they are under performing”
It is important that self-Care begins before the disaster occurs. This involves developing a vision for your life and living it. In my previous blog ‘Is Isolation Safe’ you are reminded that the replenishment of the mind and soul will improve decision making and coping skills. Learning to understand the tools and practices of self care beforehand can contribute to well-being and health on a daily basis.

Barriers and Obstacles to Self-Care

There are many barriers to successful self-care that leaders face when deciding to change.

Perhaps a conflict that can also exists, is between the desire for health balance and the war with the fears and beliefs, that are somehow unconscious yet interconnected?
Can a leader’s genes, parent’s anxiety and environment reflect in leader behaviour? For example a predisposition to high anxiety, unreasonable expectations and demand of self and others.?

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Successful leaders who tend to be ‘guilt ridden’ or feel undeserving of their entitlement for being successful, have unconsciously felt like an outsider with regards to their family and friends and struggle with self care. Not unlike like the anxiety experience of a lottery winner.
What can ‘feel’ more natural to such a leader is their cultural environment including the family dynamics which often define the leaders’ reality and morality.
This is a leader’s only true story known, despite what the leader says or consciously intends.

Leaders feel the conflict when their reality, their story is violated, rejected, or they leave behind the unspoken norms, patterns governing their family and all that the leader used to do.
This conflict can take the form of guilt, anxiety and impacts unconscious behaviour and choices.
Such difficulties according to Michael Bader aren’t the exception but the rule, such unconscious conflict can place brakes on wishes to take better self-care, to be patient with and love the self”
Such conflict can create stress, depression, addiction, a belief that leaders really ‘don’t deserve to relax’, but to believe in the’ reality of success’

If leaders were to make that change to self -caring the first thing that they must do is to Get a coach this one simple act can:

• Improve self-awareness
• Identify areas of strength and vulnerability
• Identify stress management techniques that will work!
Avoid risky behaviour
• Discover how to approach ‘wellness’ as a business challenge with a vision and a plan
• Accountability partner

What Will Self-Care Look Like?

Science has proven that without proactive, effective self-care, the impact on the leader can be debilitating to creativity, judgement and insight. Qualities that are necessary for sustained performance, success in business and life.
Research with Leaders who opted for self-care interventions have demonstrated
• Greater productivity
• Brighter mental clarity
• More energy
• Improved ability to readily access flow and high performance states.

“When these individuals meet their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs , standing in the power of their best selves, they inspire others to realize their potential performance and productivity”
Dr C L Ackrill MD of WellSpark

We provide amazing support so the following common obstacles will not stand in your way!

• No time to focus on YOU!
• Tiredness
• Guilt

Change can often be difficult, so Coaching2Transform support leaders as they make the decision to pursue self-care.Discover what we can do for You Click  here for Your Discovery Session.

Making Change Happen Today with Coaching2Transform

Making Change Happen Today with Coaching2Transform

How do Leaders Avoid Burnout?

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Can you remember the last time you allowed your inner circle at work to reciprocate the care, you give to them to give to you?
Are you struggling to remember? If you can’t remember, be aware otherwise this is a recipe for burnout! Replenishment of energy, motivation, and spirituality comes not only internally as mentioned in my blog on when is isolation safe but externally too, from others .

UNDERSTAND THESE 4 STEPS TO AVOID BURNOUT

• Your energy levels also motivation need to remain full, and must be continually replenished, for you to function at your best
• Understand that the demands of leadership can cause leaders to become resentful as expectation, demands, of staff, company continually increase causes stress build up. Such stress often leads to rash coping strategies highlighting patterns of bad behaviour. Which can often make the problem worse?
• When leaders ‘needs’ go unrecognized and unmet leaders often become resentful.
• High work demands according to the Journal of Nursing Management (2011) have been shown to be associated with high perceptions of work family conflict which is associated with lower perception of job satisfaction and depressive symptoms.

 

HOW DO YOU LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF?

Bob Gass author of the highly successful and fastest growing Christian devotional The UCB Word for today writes: When the world you live in makes endless withdrawals you must learn to make deposits, otherwise you will end up with insufficient funds. Your cheques will start bouncing morally, emotionally and spiritually.

Now lonely leaders, solo entrepreneurs, business owners who are reading this blog may have a tendency to hide behind the busyness of their roles to avoid taking care of themselves, or perhaps they don’t know how.
Bob Gass also suggests that people generally treat leaders according to how leaders treat themselves and therefore leaders must learn to treat themselves right!

A great way to start is to have an understanding and awareness of who you are . A really good way to start is to complete a really short online questionnaire on discovering what truly gives you energy and where is your energy zapped. This self perception inventory is called a Motivational Map. The results will be emailed to you instantly and becomes an extremely valuable resource.
Leaders who understand what feeds and replenish their energy levels can surround themselves with the right people who compliment their strengths as well as their short comings. There are certain leadership styles that are prone to not taking care of themselves. An example are leaders that strive for perfection (perfection doesn’t exist) so they have a tendency to search for symbols of success and measure success by moral and ethical standards.

Also, leaders whose strategy is to continually sacrifice themselves for the business, company or organisation by being continually busy as the only way to success. Continuous withdrawals often lead to the isolated leader becoming emotionally, physically, and spiritually drained. A consequence of choosing to take care of the business, before taking care of themselves.

Andrew Kinder and others in the book Employee Wellbeing Support: A Workplace Resource Centre for Creative Leadership. Although they do not endorse such behaviour, they observed in their research on executive derailment, certain patterns in recent years have generated a perception and enthusiasm for “heroic” style leadership. Where bad behaviour, a grandiose self image and arrogance develops as a leader becomes more successful. Possibly, the result of the ‘bouncing cheques’ we mentioned above. An acceptance, that malfunctioning coping strategies and bad behaviour can get leaders to the top of their careers.

 

HOW TO AVOID ‘BURN OUT’

Although it may seem noble to sacrifice the need to take care of yourself first, over the need to take of your business, over time it is a recipe for a burn out!
Often the problems cannot be prevented by the leaders action alone and will demand an approach that involves a system thinking. This approach may prove challenging but if it can succeed it will prove liberating and trigger the changes that are necessary.
The challenge is twofold:
1. To produce a paradigm shift (a way thinking, behaviour)
2. Ensure that the shift in thinking and behaviour produces results in terms of outcomes for better wellbeing.

How do leaders avoid burn out and achieve company goals? GET A COACH someone who will focus on your personal development, share ideas and fears confidentially. We provide the much needed structure and accountability necessary while growing your company. Book Now for an discovery Session where we will discover whether what we have is what you need

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and much more!

“You don’t have to feel alone as an entrepreneur, you just have to be willing to ask others for help” Phoebe Fung

Stepping into Character

Stepping into Character

What do Bill Gates, Nelson Mandela, Queen Elizabeth ll , Mother Theresa, Dr Martin Luther King and Leonardo Di Capiro have in common? On the face of it looks like not a lot. But in this article they have quite a lot in common. Look really carefully and you will find they all have a real ability to successfully step into character

Not being aware and understanding that the ability to nurture the correct character for the role you find yourself can result in business or company failure.

Often, the biggest barrier to business or a company’s growth is the leader character.

This article discusses the x 4 business characters necessary for Start Up, Small Business and Solo Entrepreneurs to start, stay, and grow your business or company.

Stepping into Character #1

Before we delve into character building and nurturing I would like to discuss what stepping into character actually means. Thinking about a character in the way an actor does, will give leaders skills to create extraordinary performances.

For this we need to borrow a model from the performing art sector. When developing characters actors rehearse for several hours each day, experimenting with emotions, and thought patterns, actors must step into their characters bodies and minds for extended periods in order to achieve shifting identities

Great actors have the skills of stepping in and out of character spot on., I for one was elated to see Leonardo Di-Caprio awarded an Oscar for best actor along with his BAFTA award, he and many actors and actresses successfully stepped into their film character, so successfully there is no doubt to the audience they serve believed the reality presented. We as leaders, business owners, managers, CEO can certainly learn how to do this.

Often the biggest barrier to growth is the leader themselves particularly when it comes to areas of purpose , aspiration and mental preparation.

At coaching2transform we hold a mirror and a spotlight to the leaders character. A mirror to ask:

What do you want to be?

Are you there yet?

Can we help you on your journey?

The spotlight, highlights the areas that remain in the dark or are just not clearly seen, for example carving out time in an already overloaded schedule to create that time of solitude to reflect on business, it’s growth potential and finding solutions to current challenges, also time to stand back to replenish.

Stepping into Character #2

This would involve stepping into a character that allows leaders to step back from day to day operations. Believing that other team members have the skills and capabilities in certain areas of the business that excel that of the leaders capabilities and skills. Not delegating certain tasks is most certainly a business growth barrier and growth suicide. This character #2, will have the courage to build high performing teams that are better qualified. This way leadership works better as the leader will have more time to focus on business strategy and growth.

Stepping into character #3

When building a business or company one of the most important aspects is to bring on to the stage more team players. Accelerating business growth is about scaling lead generation, sales operation, setting up systems and processes.

Stepping into Character #4

Character # 4 , is required to understand and speak the new language of business communication, numbers sales, conversion rates, key performance indicators, return on investment and key metrics. These are numbers that leaders must understand and be able to leverage for every decision made in their business.

This is the language every successful small business owners, leaders of organizations must be fluent in to break through the barriers of growth. It is essential from day one of starting a business.

But becomes vital as the business starts to grow in size and complexity

Watch how real actors step into character here, compliments of the Performing Arts Sector .

If you are ready to step into the character necessary to Start, Stay, & Grow your business or Organisation click I am Ready for a 1-2-1 bespoke session. Where we offer you a safe space to discover what can work for you and your team.

Making Change Happen Today with Coaching2Transform

Making Change Happen Today with Coaching2Transform

Isolation is not a Business Strategy

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Lets talk about business strategy for small business, solo entrepreneurs and organizations. What is a business strategy here is one definition

Strategy a detailed plan for achieving success, the bundle of decisions and activities that we choose to achieve our long-term goals. Strategy is the path we choose. Every small business or organization has to figure out what it wants to achieve and then how it is going to make it happen, with its products, customers, and operations. (Briefcase Books .com)

The detailed plan involves a step by step approach towards the end goal. Each step is a tactical move well thought out can be tweaked when required and tested again and again. Business strategy is best created with key staff members who have bought into the leaders vision, value and purpose.

Finding Purpose Vision and Values

This is not easy to find and is often a challenge. I have seen on several occasions how difficult this can be. Simon Sinek Ted Talk on How Great Leaders Inspire Action is brilliant in explaining this exact issue. Finding purpose and vision often causes discomfort and confusion as isolated leaders struggle to put into words what lies in their hearts. Purpose, vision and the values isolated leaders hold, determine the roadmap and where motivation and energy lies when sharing with teams. The question is ..How do leaders begin to find the words that convey sometimes intangible feelings onto paper and into the hearts of others?

Leaders need to take time out to be alone as they place themselves in a creative and innovative mode. This can be such a powerful experience and instrumental in reaching the common goals for small business, solo entrepreneurs and organisations.

Discomfort

Such a place of solitude will and can often causes discomfort and frustration as the leaders brain seeks answers to questions that are unfamiliar. Answers, appear and disappears like a vapour in the moment, failing to be grasped by the leader cause frustration.

Frustration, drawn from the comfort of busyness and impatience maintaining a false concept of self worth according to Gary Fenton. He says it is comfortable to believe this illusion, that leaders business activities and connectedness to others can raise leaders self worth, this he continues cannot be further from the truth, in fact it may contribute to the barriers to growth small business experience.

The Value of Solitude

Alfred Montague in his book The Supreme Philosophy of Man states, do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make progress. Research, supports that leaders are more creative when they can be alone. The alone I talk about is called solitude not isolation. Solitude is a space for productivity, creativity and discomfort. New habits are formed and behaviours developed.

How Do Leaders Create This Space?

Often with difficulty, the process will take time! I find it almost impossible although my presence can be still, my mind exercises what mindfulness terms as monkey brain jumping from one thought to another. Solitude is NOT Isolation. It is the ability to be alone with your thoughts, it is one of the most important necessities of true leadership.

Coaching2transform offers you a safe space and an outside voice to explore the first steps in making change happen

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